Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The One I Want to be With When I'm Ninety Two

I think most females fantasize about love, marriage, and the baby in the baby carriage for a good portion of their lives. Though I was a tomboy and played Ninja Turtles with my best guy friends, I was still a romantic deep down (yes, even as a five year old). I swooned over Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block, wanted to marry my best guy friend Brent Cicogna, and always answered "a wife and mommy" when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I come from a broken home, if you will. My life was pretty normal up until my parents divorce (I think I was five); we lived in nice houses, had horses in our backyard, had presents piled twice the size of us at Christmastime.. life was normal, maybe even extravagant by my standards. I remember one day my dad came to sit next to me as I was watching "The Goonies" and he said, "We'll always be friends" with tears welling up in his eyes. I thought, "Ok Dad, sure"; I mean, what else was my five year old self going to think? The next thing I can remember is my mom, sister and I moving our stuff out of our house. I don't remember if I was aware my dad was not coming with us.. I guess twenty four years is a long time to remember something like that.

My life changed pretty significantly from that point; my sister and I were scooted back and forth from parent to parent and from home to home. My mom, sister and I lived with family members, friends.. we lived in guest bedrooms and my mom slept on an air mattress in someones dining room for a long time. I didn't really get it then; it was just my life.

I have one very clear memory of a night my dad dropped us off in our town house rental (my mom finally got us our own place, then we were quickly displaced by the 1994 Northridge earthquake).. my mom asked if he wanted to stay for dinner and he did. We ate together, the four of us, like a real family
; my eight year old heart was filled with so much joy that I ran upstairs after dinner, started to jump on my bed and sing to all of my stuffed animal friends "my parents are getting back together.. my parents are getting back together".
As an eight year old, I didn't know what love really was and I didn't know that sometimes people fall in and out of love. I believed in Disney; I believed in happy endings.

Obviously, my parents did not reconnect (and as an adult, I am grateful they did not. Some people just don't belong together), I was disappointed in love and didn't really realize what love actually meant until I met my husband (aww).

I was a train wreck of a young adult. After high school, I dropped a ton of weight and began dating and seeing whomever I pleased. If some guy thought he was my boyfriend, I didn't care.. I'd go on a date with other people who showed interest in me. I can see now that I was subconsciously trying to make myself feel better because I believed all these guys really liked me and I felt like crap about myself.. right? Psh.. they liked that I was unattached and didn't care if they called back or not. The one guy that I can think of that did really care and love me, I pushed away. He said once, "I can see myself marrying you" and I thought "Ugh God" to myself.. I was far from believing in love at that point, I had been burned a few times by then. I had been in three long term relationships that jaded me and made me devalue love and myself.

Poor Rory.. by the time I met him, I was a mess; a drunk, jaded, insecure, cold hearted mess.
I won't go too much in to when we first met because I wrote about it here already, but will say that Rory saved my life and made me believe in love. I've said that a lot.. "Rory saved my life", because he did. I could have continued being who I was, dating jerks, being abused in every way possible, but Rory saved me. I wonder if we didn't live together if things would have ended up happening the same way; if I would have seen his kind heartedness so soon and fallen in love with him so deeply and quickly. I don't necessarily believe in "soul mates" or "one person out there for you" because I believe people can fall in love many times and fall out of it many times as well, but I do believe in God's plan. I believe Rory and I (and Logan) were in God's plan and I am grateful that God had faith in me and my broken heart to be open to Rory when I had no faith in myself or men for that matter.

Knowing love, feeling love, and living in love is a gift and I feel like people throw the word around so loosely (i.e. I'm fifteen and in love with my boyfriend). I don't think an immature heart can truly feel love and give love back in that way; that's a hard thing for a teenager to swallow, I'm sure (sorry kids). I was a brokenhearted teenage girl once who thought I was in love with every San Fernando Valley band member that played at the Cobalt and the American Legion Hall.. I didn't understand love and honestly, I didn't want to. It was easy to be closed off and devoid of all feeling, but I am glad to not be that person anymore. People say to stop looking if you're looking for love and it will find you.. I think that is so true because you have to stop screwing around with idiots in order to open your heart to a good man deserving of your love. Good point? I think so.


**photo credits: photos one and three by Ressull Salvi. photo two by Dallas Sterling**

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